Book Definition: Emphasizes rational thinking (as opposed to subjective emotion, motivation, or repressed conflicts) as the key to treating mental disorders.

History (Optional)

Cognitive Therapy is part of insight therapy and therefore involves thinking about one's motives according to outside influences. It developed with psycho-therapy and focuses on how you can better yourself even with outside problems affecting you.

In Your Own Words

  • Thinking and finding a rational explanation to why you do the way you do.
  • Therapy based on rational thinking; not a person's emotions.
  • Changing thoughts so you don't see things so negatively.
  • Therapy used to make a patient think about their problems in a reasonable way.
  • A form of psychotherapy using imagery, self-instruction, and related techniques to alter distorted attitudes and perceptions.


  • Your best friend ignores you. Instead of thinking "Why does he hate me?", you try to think positive and think maybe he's just having a bad day.
  • Instead of thinking "if I fail this I wont do good and I'll drop out" you should think "if I do good on this test I can pass this class and have a good future."
  • Taking the SAT and getting a low score; instead of thinking how stupid you are, you should think that test-taking isn't for everyone and it doesn't mean you're not smart.

Additional Resources